Friday, February 2, 2007

Abeam the Wind

I seem to have stumbled upon a schedule that works. It's not the schedule I was looking for or would have guessed upon but its funny what happens when you decide to just go with the flow instead of cramming your life into the boxes that you or others believe they should be in.

With my family of five, one car, and living in the country away from our places of employment, our schedule is not a friendly one conducive to relaxed creative ventures. Allow me to lay the normal gameplan out on the table. On days we both work, I am up by 6:30 a.m., out the door by 7:15 a.m., and to work by 8 where I manage to get in a little bit of creative time as I do not actually go on shift until a little before 10. Once done with work and sometimes being on our feet all day, its a fast-paced race home, dinner, deal with homework, and the assorted and random things that three children can come up with within 6 to 8 hours. You'd be amazed. Oh, I hear you out there saying, "No, we understand." And I'm telling you, unless you have three or more kids in school, you just don't understand. Children are an odd gift in my life that I treasure deeply. They make you smile, fill you with magic, and then, two minutes later, you're looking for something to throw at them. *grin* However, the magic they share with you is beyond compare

Once dinner is done then its time for either laundry, dishwashing, house-cleaning, and you-cleaning in either some random combination or a frenzied dash through all the stages. Squeeze in an hour of family time and then its bedtime for the little ones. We are fortunate that, in this, they are quite angelic. With the children asleep one would think, "Ah-ha! Time for creativity!" And to this I would say, "Ah-ha, you are right!" except for the fact that you're bone tired and the only real creative action you can perform is to pick the brightly colored mug instead of the black one in which to catch the drool leaking from the corner of your mouth. Or your ears...

No, it's usually at this time that my absent-minded brain goes on automatic and unless on fire with a creative project, I will begin to fade. Now, for many months I have pushed myself at this point. Snuck a bit of coffee in with some milk and jumped online to hash around in Second Life, opened the word processor, or grabbed Photoshop to work on a painting. Nights where I would stay up until 2 in the morning, bleary-eyed, falling asleep at my work desk only to get up and do it all again the next day. I do have the fortunate gift of only needing about six hours of sleep a night and, occasionally, much less. Yet, I was aware that I was pushing too hard and the schedule was wearing me down.

A few days ago, I gave up. I was exhausted, drained. I went to bed at 8:30 and, of course, woke up at 2:45 in the morning. Staggering out into the peaceful silence of the house, I flipped through some notes, flipped on the computer, and had the most amazing two and half hours before "the real world" kicked in. Curious, I tried it again the next night and the next morning it worked again. I was a bit stunned. Because I had been able to get the creative work done, I had a much better day and carried none of that creative pressure that can build up within like a volcano if you don't get it out. It makes for odd hours and puts a bit of a damper on the social life. With the Second Life expedition, it puts me in-world a little after midnight and exploring during the odd morning hours. This is good for lag and for my wee computer but hinders me a bit with contacts. Fortunately, Second Life is very international and I get to meet folks that I normally would not meet. When I meet them, that is. Regardless, I've been running on this schedule for several days now and, frankly, I'm amazed.

Could it be I've found the correct point off the wind where this ship sails the best? I suppose it's true.

1 comment:

Ursa said...

I've heard of folks who go to bed, get up after a couple of hours, then go back to bed and get a couple more hours' sleep. It apparently really works for some folks.

But you do sort of sound like you're on a nurse's schedule... (;